Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Write about a haunting at Halloween. Who lives here and what evil lurks in the shaded rooms?

Imagine what happens in the turret?  Creep around to the back where you hear dogs growling.

What does the full moon inspire?

Create clankings and eerie sounds that arise from the basement.

Do you dare open the front door?


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Life Story Writing

Writing the story of your own life is a bit like drilling your own teeth.
 ~ Gloria Swanson

Life story writing challenges the writer. How does one recall the details of experiences, fill in the memory gaps and create a flow?

Our recollections do not detail the facts as they occurred. We alter memories with emotion and color to help us make sense of them. Did that really happen to me? Did my suffering result because of someone or something else or did I have to learn something?

Return to a life event that continues to mystify. Write about it in detail with sound, sense, taste and touch. Bring it in to a filmic view.

Take three days. Write each day. Notice how your perception varies with the moods of the day.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Write a Chimera

In Greek mythology, the Chimera, a fire-breathing monster sported a lion's head, goat's body and a dragon's tail. She terrorized inhabitants of Lycia until their king, Iobates, asked the hero Bellerophon to slay her.

Iobates had an ulterior motive; his son-in-law wanted Bellerophon killed.  The king felt certain the Chimera could do it.  Bellerophon called on Pegasus, the winged horse and brought the Chimera down from the sky.

The beast lived on in the imagination of many.  It also meant something fanciful, and less fierce.

Creative Write: Imagine an unrealized dream beyond a monster of unrelated parts. Write to develop your chimera of wonder.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Write About Choices

Every story, love or war, is a story about looking left when we should have looked right  
- Sarah Blake from The Postmistress

Remember a time you made a choice that sent you in a different direction than planned?

      Think about a decision that eliminated a serious change in your life.

      Recall a situation where you, by chance, turned right instead of left. 

Write about a misstep.  How did you catch yourself before you fell?

Follow these memories in a freewrite.  Where will your choices take you today?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Adventure of Lewie the Leaf

Lewie the leaf’s adventure began as a green shoot that grew from a branch. After sparking through summer, he started to feel different.  He turned crimson. Those around  him bloomed from an orange to yellow.  

What's up he wondered?  Lewie noticed leaves from other trees fly into the air and twirl to the ground. They collected in gutters, lawns and on the street in piles.

Lewie didn’t want to leave his branch.  He loved the birds who sang and hopped around him.  His favorite robin would peck at insects to keep them from biting into him.

One day the robin said, "You’ll fall soon."

"No, I like it on my branch," replied Lewie.

October eased into November. With a chill in the air, wind moved other leaves to the ground.  Lewie stuck tight.

"You know," said the robin, "you could become evergreen and not have to fall at all." 

Lewie looked at the shine on the pine needles and thought about it.

"I could fly you over to the park by the river. You'd become mulch. Then you'd nurture and move up into the pine needles," the robin said.

"I dunno," Lewie shivered in uncertainty.

"Come on, Lewie. See the little sapling over by the river.  I'll help robin add leaves," said the squirrel.

Lewie was not convinced.  “How do you know this can happen?”

The robin fluffed at her feathers. "I have watched the process many times."

"It's true, Lewie," said the heron.

When December rolled around, frost startled Lewie.  He shivered and could feel an opening on his branch.  He struggled to stay attached.

"It’s about time," the robin said.  "No other leaves have stayed.  They all want to change."

Lewie did not answer, using all his power to stay stuck on his branch.

The rains came heavy that night. Only one tendril of Lewie's leaf stem stuck. 

The robin flew by and alighted above his branch. "I'll fly you over now."

Lewie agreed and wriggled until he began to spiral.  The breeze felt good.

"Dance, Lewie. Dance." The robin picked him up in her beak and flew him to the sapling. Lewie sat close to the base and spoke to the tree.  “I’m here to become a pine needle.”

When snow arrived, Lewie turned brown and slept cozy as a bear all winter.

By spring, bird song rose and the robin appeared.  Lewie was nowhere in sight. Robin called and heard his voice echo from deep beneath the earth.

April arrived and he had climbed his way by up to begin shooting out green.

“You were right, robin, “ Lewie said. “I love the new me. What fun to stay green."

Creative Write:  Write a story about a transformation.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Do Day!

We drive down the street and negative signage accosts us at every turn.   STOP.  Do Not Enter.  Wrong Way.  Stay back.  Danger.  Do not feed the birds. Do not.  Do not.  It's all about NO instead of DO.

Rewrite all the signs you pass on the street.  Turn Stop into Go for it.  Encourage motorists to DO positive actions.

Hurrah for YES!  Just do it!

Reword the negativity and make it a DO day!  What would this Night Heron have to say?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Create a Story

 A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice. ~Edgar Watson Howe

Something happened in the past that connects two men to the present. They meet to have a conversation.

One man directs the other to an apartment building because he has something the other wants.

What does the elevator add?

What secret will this landscape element reveal?

Creative Write:  Begin with an encounter, create a conflict and write into the drama.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Get Moving

You have decided to start a moving company. After you have created the company title to attract the most attention, decide on a name for your persona as the driver of the truck.

How will you define your expertise?  In what ways would you handle bulky items or pack the delicate China and crystal?

Do you move pets?

What distinctive item have you moved in the past?

Describe a confrontation because of a surprise request at the first location you're about to move.

Have fun exploring possibilities for your moving company.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Write New

A new cloud formation, asperatus means "turbulent undulation." According to the Cloud Appreciation Society, it resembles "the surface of a choppy sea from below."  It looks rough and agitated but never brings a storm.

Discover something new in your writing. Go for an illusion of turbulence but also make it amusing and amazing.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


William Archibald Spooner, a British clergyman and educator had to speak in public. Because of nerves, his tongue got tangled.  He would say things like "a blushing crow" when he meant  a "crushing blow."  Spooner's letter reversals because legend and gave listeners a laugh.  By 1900 his name inspired the word, spoonerism.

Consider transposing words and play.  Imagine signing flosser for flying saucer.  Try having a Tun Fime.  Get into a doyful jay! Let your tang tungle.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Day Say

“My talent is making connections.  That’s why I’m an essayist.” 
– Stephen Jay Gould
"I don't dream at night, I dream all day; I dream for a living." - Steven Spielberg

The word, essay, comes from the Latin verb exigere, which means to examine, test or drive out.  Mary Oliver advises to pay attention and be astonished.  Dreams add spice. Then write!

My mind plays as it flicks among ideas.

Five years ago, I began to test my views each day in a Blog.  

Encouraging writers to write and interact with me energized the focus. 

Now, I consider them, Day Says. Concepts fire from a variety of stimuli. 

They leap to access arrangements of fun and fantasy.

Magenta to tangerine to cream.

Creatures pose for word capture.

Textures of leaves and frog sounds sprout in unexpected places.

Scents collect in cedar and sunlight and attach to memories.

A collage blooms as I write.

My mind whirs during morning runs. I re-arrange wording in menus and gain ideas from horoscopes.  

Overheard conversations add to the mixture.

Messages appear at odd times as words drive my day.

While reading a variety of subjects, my kaleidoscope turns.  I reflect on patterns and edges, then search for connections to examine and drive out ideas!  

A taste of caramel reminds me . . .

Senses stalk and roam in nature for details. 

Photography chooses slants and close ups that assist the process.

Like a tree in the forest, do the words fall silent?  Might they roar?

Although I appreciate an audience and responses, the Day Says motivate my writing practice.

Day Say fragments often arrive the night before. They flash during dreams. By morning the text has awakened.

Creative Write:  Collect and collate ideas for a day. Write to let them lead you on an adventure. Develop a writing practice based on weaving the threads.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hummingbird Tales

I saw it all from my green sky.
I had no more alphabet
than the swallows in their courses,
the tiny shining water
of the small bird on fire
which dances out of the pollen. 
- Pablo Neruda

If we consider possibility that dinosaurs evolved into birds, imagine Brontosaurus Rex shrink into a hummingbird body. What a change had to occur from a bulky creature who walked on thick legs and shook the earth with each step? 

An amazement of technology, a hummingbird can fly upside down and backwards while dipping its beak and tongue into flower nectar.

Where did the jewel of glitter first open its eyes? In Peru and other South American countries a variety of hummingbirds exist. They flew to the rain forest and the high peaks of the Andes. Hummingbirds arrived in Argentina and Mexico. One species even made it to Alaska.

The Quechan people of present-day Ecuador tell stories of how the hummingbird represents a variety of attributes such as wisdom, optimism and agility. One story tells of a fire in a forest where many animals live. The hummingbird carries single drops of water back and forth from the pond to try to put out the firs. When the other animals ask why, the bird replies, "I am doing what I can."

Creative Write: What story could you craft today about an animal "doing what it can?"

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Become A Funambulist

Become a funambulist. Turn into an acrobat or tight rope walker.

In addition to rope dancing, funambulist also refers to a person with mental agility and skill - a writer. As writers, we struggle from concept to expression along lines that quiver with illusion and reality.

Begin rope dancing with a thought, add a feeling, and a difficult aspect of life.  Write and let agility and skill move you.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Fascination of Flying

The amazement of flight begins as I feel the swoosh and awe of lifting beyond gravity into the unknown.  How does this silver bird do it?

Since the tale of Icarus and the Wright brothers' experiments, creativity and technology have evolved. Wonder weaves into my thoughts when considering the amount of trust involved boarding a plane. It takes the pilot's skill to reach a destination.

Concern disappears as my mind settles and plays with patterns in the wild blue.

Holes in the carpet of fleece reveal a miniaturization of landmarks. My running routes and birding areas evaporate as we rise.

I imagine how to wriggle my toes in the textures. What would those marshmallows taste like? They might sit on my tongue or melt into sweetness. Movements in hearts and dragons, frogs and falcons arrange in and out of focus.

When we begin our descent, moving through the clouds feels like easing into a bubble bath. The bubbles calm me into comfort.  Jasmine combines with roses. No sounds escape beyond the rumble of engines.

Immersion into this world of sensory experience ends with the jolt of landing gear. Another day's fascination of flying has sheltered and shuttled me back to earth.

Creative Write: Write about an experience of flying.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Word Puppetry

When you greet the morning and the song sparrows of inspiration have overslept, where do you turn? You whistle to get their attention. Nothing happens. Finally they arrive at the seed stations, fluff feathers or splash in the water fountain. Not even one beak turns in your direction.

Ignore them! They'll squawk when the seed cages are empty.

Take fifteen minutes to prepare yourself by locating the advertising section of the newspaper or an online site. Find intrigue and mystique in a series of titles or phrases that inspire images.

Turn to the movie section also. Consider what advertising executives go through to pique your interest.

How will you play with these words?

Moble window tinting

Mystery shopper

Typo patrol

Rain Relief

The Week's Contender

Tint Your Windows

Free Eye Exam

A necessity of Luxury

Droopy Eyelids?

Restless Legs

Sprained Ankle Recently?

Is Waking up at night affecting your tomorrow

Fly Research Study

Hair Transplant for Spring

Magic Eyelash Extension


Stimulus Package


Eat More Sushi

Oyster Night

Free Yogurt ( or?)

The Filet Challenge

Cash for Cards

Bankruptsy - Divorce Fast

Friday Night Jazz

A Necessity of Luxury

Creative Write: Try word puppetry. Dangle and drop several phrases and see where they go.

Here's a start:

Friday Night Jazz
Oyster night, where
will the magic of eyelash
extension take you?

With droopy eyes and restless legs
let rain relief tint your windows.
Astound your friends
with a necessity of luxury.

You've taken the filet challenge
Now, mystery shopper,
Free yogurt - because you can.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Write Your Decades

Discover the details in your decades. What memories fit into these categories for you? 

l. An Amazement   2. An Achievement  3. An Amusement  4. An Absurdity  5. An Amiable friend

Begin with a child's eyes and respond from 10 years and under. 

Move into adolescence. 

What memories come to mind from years 20-30?

If you're there, delve into the 30-40 era.

Details from 40-50 will provide additional insights. If you're still on your way, imagine responses.

When you respond from 50 and above, notice how your wisdom reigns!

Write one line responses at first.  

Go back to detail the decades.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Write Your Directions

I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world.
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.
I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I've been circling for thousands of years
and I still don't know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?
~ Ranier Maria Rilke ~

How do you view your life in space?  

Do you spin in all directions, centered at a hub?  Will spokes move into curves and heights with slow turns that thrust into faster ones?

Could you perceive your life as moving in a line? The linear progress rises into peaks and descends into valleys; levels for a time.

Does your life progress like ripples on a pond gaining momentum with the weather?

What if you become a falcon, a tsunmai and create a song?

Write your directions.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Six Word Story

  1. I came. I saw. I conquered. 
               (Veni. Vidi. Vici.) 

Julius Caesar may have written the first six word story in 47 B.C.  He used the sentence as the full text of his message to the Roman senate. It describes his victory over Pharnaces II of Pontus in the battle of Zela (today’s Turkey).

Apparently Ernest Hemingway ran out of money in a bar one night. He called the owner over and said if he wrote a story in six words would that pay his bill?  He said if he signed it, the story would be more valuable than what his drinking cost that night.   

Hemingway wrote.  For sale: baby shoes. Never used. He won the bet.

Examples of six sentence stories:
Dad called. DNA back. He isn’t   - Helen Fielding

They awaited sunrise. It never came. - AS Byatt

The earth?  We ate it yesterday. - Yann Martel

Nessie discovered.  Bigfoot jealous. Press conference.  - Nate Brown

Nomad meets gypsy.  They both settle.  - Cameron Graham

Creative Write:  Try a few six word stories. Maybe they will show you the way into additional development?